With statistics showing that the historic city and surrounding Jackson County has some of the highest STD rates in the state it has never been more important for residents to start taking responsibility for their sexual health. According to recent statistics released by the CDC the area is experiencing a steady increase in the number of STDs reported each year, and health officials state that they only expect these rates to rise.
Not only are the STD rates some of the highest in the state, many are also well above national averages. This is surprising to many people, considering the state’s well documented conservative position on sex before marriage. It is not just Chlamydia and Gonorrhea numbers that are higher than average, but Syphilis and HIV diagnoses are also up.
Adding to the fear that the STD rates might be getting out of control is the fact that these diseases are not just affecting teens and young adults. Older men and women are also testing positive for at least one STD more often. If this isn’t enough to get residents thinking about their sexual health, the fact that more adults are testing positive for multiple STDs at a time should be enough to convince every one of the important of regular screenings.
Some of the statistics that have health officials concerned and convinced that more needs to be done to protect residents from the dangers of STDs include,
- In 2015 there were a total of 5252 cases of Chlamydia reported in the small county.
- The HIV rate for the county was more than twice that of the states’.
- Jackson County also reported a higher rate of primary and secondary Syphilis incidents that state and national averages.
- Gonorrhea rates are almost 3 times state and national estimates.
Like many other states Missouri does not require public schools to teach students about the dangers associated with sexual activity and STDs, instead officials rely on abstinence based programs. While abstaining from sexual activity will effectively prevent unplanned pregnancies, it has little effect on slowing down the spread of STDs.
In an area where the rate of sexually transmitted diseases is higher than state and national averages, it seems that city leaders would want to do more to help residents protect themselves.
The lack of sexual education programs in the public schools is also contributing to the rising STD rate among older residents. Not all STDs are spread solely through intercourse some, like the Herpes virus can be passed simply by casual contact. Without regular testing some students and even parents might not even know that they are infected with a sexually transmitted disease.
This is one of the reasons why regular Herpes testing in Independence is so important, especially if residents want to stop the virus from continuing to spread through area schools. Regular HIV testing in Independence is also critical for continued good health, especially since this is the only way the virus can be diagnosed.
There are several demographical factors that are contributing to the high rate of STDs in the city, but the main one is the lack of available information. Studies have consistently shown that the best way to prevent the spread of STDs is to educate everyone about the importance of regular testing, but this is difficult to do when there are not any programs available for students to attend.
Along with the lack of sexual education programs the city has recently undergone budget cuts that have also affected the number of community health centers that are open to the public. With only a few clinics still open in a few select neighborhoods, it can be difficult for many residents to find a place to be tested.
When residents do find a clinic that is open, many decide it is not worth their time and trouble to stand in the long lines all day. As long as it is inconvenient for everyone to get tested regularly the STD rates will continue to rise. This is also a problem for lower income families who often can’t afford regular testing.
Other demographical factors that are contributing to the high STD rates include the conservative values and beliefs that are prevalent throughout the area. Not only does this make it difficult for residents to find a testing center that is open, it also makes it hard for teens and young adults to talk to anyone about their sexual health.
With its rich history and conservative values it’s easy to forget that there is a health crisis currently going on. With STD rates continuing to rise well above state averages it have never been so important for everyone to take a few minutes and take care of their sexual health. Even though residents can find a few facilities still open around the city, many choose to avoid going there due to the long lines. Now you can easily schedule confidential STD testing with one simple phone call, and only spend a few minutes at a local lab.